Troy "Aether" Hewitt here, Community Director for WildStar. As you know, we had our first stress test where we asked you to break things, and wow – did you ever. This event, which we are now officially calling “Stress Test Part One: The Stressening”, uncovered some extremely important data for us. The good news? We’ve got lots of information to work with. Gigs upon gigs of data to parse, crunch, evaluate and replicate.
Given that today we are running Stress Test Part II: The Stress Continues, we wanted to share an inside look at what happened the last time we took a ride down this particular rabbit hole.
Here are some key discoveries:
Craig Turner, our Live Producer, was the ringmaster for this important milestone in our development project. Here’s what he had to say:
Within 2 minutes of flipping the switch to turn the stress test on, I was literally running through the hallways at the office. There was not going to be a slow ramp up of users, oh no. We were at critical mass almost immediately. It was awesome.
What wasn’t awesome is that we broke in a way we weren’t prepared for. We had some contingency plans in place to make things playable should we have fallen over in the spots we thought were fragile, but as things tend to happen with new systems; we didn’t know what we didn’t know. The great thing is, is this is exactly what the Stress Test was intending to accomplish. We needed to see what was going to break in new and interesting ways so that we can prevent those problems in the future.
I’m looking forward to the additional Stress Test windows so that we can break new things! Ultimately though, I’m looking forward to the time that the Community Team once again forgets my name. When that happens, it’ll be because stability isn’t an issue and everything is running along smoothly. The only way we get to that point though, is with your help and tolerance in participating in more of these tests.
David “Scooter” Bass, our Senior Community Manager, was at the communications helm, making sure everyone was updated on what was going on. Here’s his take on the WildStar stress test:
For our first stress test, the Community team had a few commitments we made to ourselves (and to the stress testers):
During the actual test, we set up an impromptu "War Room" (which was really just me moving over to sit near our Live Producer Craig Turner and our Game Support Manager David Crossley so we could all yell things out at each other). It's amazing how being in the same room as people helps improve communication a thousand-fold, but it allowed us to respond to Support tickets faster, post on the forums more often, and get more immediate gameplay feedback across all three disciplines. At one point, fans were asking us to set up a webcam, but sadly it would've shown an empty room as we ran around getting more information.
As I'm sure Craig will attest to, we obtained some invaluable data from the stress test that we never could have found otherwise, so even though we are sorry most people didn't get a chance to play, we're excited to run something like this again in the future!
So in closing, thank you. Thank you for suffering through this, thank you for providing us with incredibly invaluable data, and thank you to everyone that has been so supportive of both our efforts, and their stress test compatriots.
Remember, there will be plenty of opportunities to participate in our stress test events, as well as the longer-term WildStar beta. So keep the faith!
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